- As the Ivy League schools jump into the online learning market by offering free massive open online courses (or "MOOCs"), "conventional" online programs are trying to figure out the best strategy for countering the not-for-credit, non-degree courses.
- Though many of the conventional programs are waiting to see how MOOCs evolve before moving forward, a "competency-based" system allowing students to cash in their knowledge gained in these programs (for a fee) has been discussed.
- Getting credit for a MOOC course at any institution would still be a highly-involved process (though not requiring as much time or money as sitting through a course), and would require a student to put together a portfolio with the help of an adviser and complete a long essay explaining how learning in the MOOC maps to a given institution's learning outcomes.
From the article:
Online education not only gave nontraditional students a chance to enroll in collegiate programs from afar; it has also given universities that historically have not enjoyed the prestige of the Ivies a chance to build a reputation on fresh territory and build reliable revenue streams. But, now that higher education's traditional heavyweights are creating online courses and offering them for free to anyone who wants to register, those universities that have made names for themselves in the market for "conventional" online programs are trying to sort out how these high-profile "MOOCs" (i.e., Massive Open Online Courses) could affect their own positions in an online market where many have staked their futures. ...